"Who won the bloody war anyway."
What else is to be said other than it was the greatest sitcom ever made. Starring and written by John Cleese and Connie Booth, with unforgettable performances by Andrew Sachs and Prunella Scales. Many travelers I have met over the years just think its a great comedy, but don't realize it's actually a hard hitting documentary on British hotels. This is what the sit-com format was made for. Comedy at it's brilliant best.
Fawlty Towers, owned and managed by Basil Fawlty is located in the English holiday area of Torquay, Devon. His life is made hell by his constantly nagging wife, Sybil. His patience is pushed to the limit by the dim whited Spanish waiter, Manuel, who always gets things wrong. "You continental cretin" was just one of the names given to him by Basil. Polly was the waitress who seemed to be always there to help Basil out of a sticky situation, such as when Basil wins some money on a horse race, and then tries to hide the money from his wife (who thinks he has stopped betting). John Cleese based his character on a real hotel manager, when he was once in Torquay, and this gave him the idea for a TV show. Fawlty Towers is still one of the most famous and talked about British comedy shows of all time, and the ratings are still very high on repeat showings even though the last episode was made in 1979.
It was while filming for Monty Python's Flying Circus in 1971 that JohnCleese and the rest of the team chanced to stay at the Torquay hotel which would inspire him to create Fawlty Towers. It was run by an hotelier (described by Cleese as 'wonderfully rude') and his domineering wife. When a guest asked him for the time of the next bus to town, the manager flung the timetable at him and told him to look it up himself. He went on to hurl Eric Idle's briefcase into the street in case it contained a bomb and then complained that American Terry Gilliam's table manners were too American. 'He seemed to view us from the start as a colossal inconvenience,' mused Michael Palin. After one night, the Pythons moved out. But Cleese never forgot the hotelier and his wife and wrote them in a series based on the books of Richard Gordon. The episode, entitled No Ill Feelings, was set in a hotel and was first screened on 3 February 1973. The producer, Humphrey Barclay, was impressed by the hoteliers and told Cleese: 'There's a series in those two.' Two years later when Cleese and his then wife Connie Booth were thinking up ideas for a series, the hotel quickly came to mind. The original hotelier was much smaller than his wife so the lanky Cleese had to reverse the sizes in order that he could star as the manic Basil Fawlty alongside Prunella Scales as the formidable Sybil. Besides hapless Spanish waiter Manuel, whose tenuous grasp of the English language was explained by the fact that 'he comes from Barcelona', the hotel staff comprised chambermaid Polly, the voice of sanity in the eye of the storm, and chef Terry (in the second series). Resident guests whose mere presence was a constant irritant to Basil were the permanently confused Major Gowen and the elderly Miss Tibbsand Miss Gatsby.
Want More ?